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Democrat Candidate Funds On Hand Recent Poll Claire McCaskill $2,684,766 43% Republican Jim Talent $6,921,577 43%
Few races in the country are as closely watched as Missouri’s U.S. Senate race, which pits two of the state’s most experienced candidates against each other: Republican Sen. Jim Talent and Democratic State Auditor Claire McCaskill. The Cook Political Report ranks this race a “Toss-Up.” The District Historically, Missouri is a bellwether state, as central to the political scene as it is to the geographic map. Missouri has voted for the winner in every presidential election for nearly half a century, and even though it trends somewhat conservative, it generally features close races. This year, an unpopular President and Governor may hurt the Republican brand. Aiding the Democratic chances is a high-profile statewide referendum to fund stem cell research – a popular measure supported by most voters, as well as McCaskill, and opposed by Talent and the powerful religious right. About Claire McCaskill McCaskill has a distinguished record of service in Missouri, including time spent as a county prosecutor and a state legislator. She’s won two statewide elections as auditor, and came within a few points of winning the governorship in 2004. In addition to her strong support of stem cell research, McCaskill is pro-choice, supports an exit strategy in Iraq, and advocates a common-sense, competent government. www.claireonline.com About Jim Talent Jim Talent served in the U.S. House for four terms before an unsuccessful 2000 run for governor. In 2002, he took advantage of the Republican tide to oust Sen. Jean Carnahan, who had been appointed two years before to fill the seat won by the late Gov. Mel Carnahan. In a race heavily targeted by the national GOP, Talent won by around 20,000 votes out of nearly 2 million cast. An ally of the religious right, Talent converted to Christianity after listening to a radio broadcast of Dr. James Dobson’s Focus on the Family program. He is a reliable supporter of the GOP agenda in Congress. www.talentforsenate.com Fundraising and Polling This race is high on the target list of both parties, and it shows in fundraising. At the last reporting period, Talent had brought in a little over $19.6 million and retained nearly $7 million on hand. McCaskill brought in nearly $4.6 million and retains a little under $2.7 million. In addition to being one of the nation’s most expensive races, it’s also unambiguously one of the closest. In dozens of polls, McCaskill and Talent have never been separated by more than a few points, and they trade leads constantly. The most recent Mason-Dixon poll showed McCaskill and Talent tied at 43%. At this point the race is a true toss-up and turnout will decide who Missouri will send to the Senate. Sources: www.washingtonpost.com, www.centerforpolitics.org, nytimes.com, www.fec.gov
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